It’s only a few days now until March First Monday Crime. Have you booked your seat? It’s going to be a fabulous evening with M.J. Arlidge, Fiona Barton, Laura Shepherd-Robinson and C.J. Tudor, hosted by Jake Kerridge. To give you an idea of what to expect, the lovely C.J. Tudor has found some time in her hectic schedule (writing, book launch, promoting The Taking of Annie Thorne, getting married – the usual!) to answer a few questions. But first let me give you the blurb for the magnificent The Taking of Annie Thorne.
Then . . .
One night, Annie went missing. Disappeared from her own bed. There were searches, appeals. Everyone thought the worst. And then, miraculously, after forty-eight hours, she came back. But she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say what had happened to her.
Something happened to my sister. I can’t explain what. I just know that when she came back, she wasn’t the same. She wasn’t my Annie.
I didn’t want to admit, even to myself, that sometimes I was scared to death of my own little sister.
Now. . .
The email arrived in my inbox two months ago. I almost deleted it straight away, but then I clicked OPEN:
I know what happened to your sister. It’s happening again . . .
Welcome to my blog, C.J. Tudor! You kindly gave me an interview for First Monday last year when The Chalk Man was published. How’s it all been since then?
Awesome. Bonkers. Busy. Brilliant. Exciting. Knackering. Stressful. Totally worth it.
Is there anything you’ve learnt or experienced in the last year that you weren’t expecting?
Making so many new friends. That has been a wonderful part of the whole experience. The crime community is so supportive and welcoming, and I’m thrilled to know some brilliant, talented people who I hope will remain friends for a long time. On the downside – I have learnt not to read crappy reviews. Life is too short! I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. I’ve worked darn hard to be here and I’m not going to give anyone the satisfaction of raining on my parade!!
Your new book is The Taking of Annie Thorne (which I think is even better than The Chalk Man) Can you tell us about the story and inspiration behind it?
The inspiration came from the area where I used to live, in the north of England. Years ago, there were a lot of mines there. After they closed, the land was reclaimed.
When I was a dog-walker, I used to walk around one of the old pit sites. Something about it always felt desolate and barren. I found myself thinking about what lay beneath the ground; tunnels, abandoned machinery . . . and maybe other things.
I also went to school in a small pit village very much like Arnhill. It was probably less isolated but no less industrial and grim. A lot of kids didn’t care about learning because they knew they’d simply go and work ‘down the pit’, like their dads.
The book is set during the time of the miner’s strike in the UK. I saw first-hand how the strike tore communities apart. Many of those mining villages never recovered after the pits closed and became incredibly deprived. The theme of dying – the coal industry, communities, and people – and the question of whether you can ever get them back, is one that runs throughout the book, both metaphorically and more literally!
For the audio version of The Chalk Man you had Andrew Scott and Asa Butterfield narrating. This time you have Richard Armitage. Firstly, how does that feel? Secondly, do you have your eye on anyone for Book 3?
I’ve been SO lucky with the narrators for my audio books. They have all been absolutely brilliant! It’s just so amazing to hear such brilliant actors reading stuff that came out of your head! Richard Armitage has been especially supportive of Annie Thorne. He’s fab! Book 3 is third person, multi-narrator, so that should be interesting when it comes to the audio book!!
Now you know what to expect at First Monday, what are you looking forward to most?
Silly question – cookies and pub!
Actually, I absolutely loved doing the panel last time. It was really relaxed, interesting and a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to it even more this time as I know some of the other authors and the lovely Jake Kerridge, of course! I can’t wait!!
(but did I mention the cookies?!!)
Don’t worry, there will be cookies for the authors! Thanks so much for answering my questions.
I was fortunate enough to take part in the blog tour for The Taking of Annie Thorne and you can read my review here.
If you come on Monday then you can buy the books and get them signed. If you’re not able to be there then click on the links below for each author to find out more about them and buy their books.
And if you’re now thinking, I’d quite like to go to First Monday – how do I book? All you have to do is click here.
Hope to see you there!